Queensland Flooding Travel Fail
Travel Stories

Just My Luck – More of My Travel Fails Around the World

Last updated on August 15, 2019.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my travel horror story and the collaboration of travel blogger fails that I’ve recently posted. Today I bring you the last part of the series, a collection of my travel fails from around the globe. I’ve come to think that sometimes I’m cursed with bad travel luck, but I’ve learned to make the most of it! And there is always a good story to tell later.

Floods in Paris

Paris Seine Flooding Travel Fail

There was the time I went to Paris and the Seine was flooding. Like, really flooding. The photo isn’t good quality, but you get the point! The next day we went to the Louvre to see some of the most famous pieces of art in the world. Since I was in Paris, of course I wanted to see Delacroix’s famous mural of the revolution – but no. That wing was under construction.

No Clock for You in Prague

Astronomical Clock Travel Fail

Then we went to Prague. Prague’s biggest tourist destination? The astronomical clock, of course. Not the big blue tarps covering the clock. Nope. But that’s what I saw.

Where Are the Fish in Boston?

The first time I went to Boston all I wanted to do was see the New England Aquarium. (You know how much I LOVE aquariums!) So I went inside. And then I found out the the main tank that is in the center of the aquarium was empty. Under construction. Of course.

Hidden Christ in Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer Travel Fail

When I was in Rio de Janeiro, all of my friends kept telling me that I needed to go see Christ the Redeemer. Since I’m not very religious and I didn’t have much time, I thought that I could just see it from below and be good. But they insisted. Everyone kept saying that the very best views of Rio are from Christ. So, we drove up to the top of the Tijuca Forest. My friend asked one of the workers what the visibility was like at the top since it was a bit cloudy. My friend translates from Portuguese and tells me that the view is 100%. We buy our tickets and then find out that it was 100% visible, but 100% cloudy. Of course. Nevertheless, we went up. Aaaaaand it was almost impossible to see Christ, even though we were standing just feet away from the statue. We took our time up there, waiting for the clouds and mist to move. I was able to get a few foggy pictures, but nothing great. And the view of Rio? Completely gray. I couldn’t tell you what was below the mountain. Just another on my list of travel fails.

A Little Cyclone Never Stopped Me in Cairns

Flooding in Cairns Travel Fail

When I lived in Australia, my friends and I planned a trip up to Cairns to go scubadiving in the Great Barrier Reef and explore the Daintree Rainforest. Once in a lifetime opportunities! A few days before our trip, Cyclone Yasi hit northern Queensland, one of the worst tropical cyclones to hit Australia in a very long time. We were worried that we’d need to cancel our trip, but we were troopers! And we didn’t know when we would get another chance to go there. So we went anyway. On the taxi ride from the airport we saw the destruction that Yasi had caused, but were please to find a sign outside of our hostel that said “Open with power.” Yay!

But the remnants of the storm weren’t over. Because of how much the ocean had been churned up, the water was pretty murky when we went scubadiving. Our guides said that we probably didn’t see as much as we normally would have because of the storm – travel fail #1. Just my luck.

Landslides & Floods

The next day we had an excursion booked to go into the Daintree Rainforest and it was pouring. Each stop along our journey the rain got heavier and heavier. Nevertheless, we continued. Driving into the rainforest we were warned about the potential of landslides to occur along the narrow dirt roads on the side of the mountains. Water started rushing across the roads, making us all nervous. But we had to get to Cape Tribulation! Made famous by the sinking of James Cook’s ship in 1770, the cape was supposed to have beautiful views. But…. I can’t say that it did on the day we were there. Check it out for yourself!

Cape Tribulation Travel Fail
Don’t you like the view?

We almost didn’t make it back out of the rainforest. The roads were getting even more flooded and landslides were starting. Our guide told us stories of this happening before when people had gotten stuck there for the night. Luckily, that didn’t happen to us, but we did have to trudge through several inches of water once we got out of our van! A bit of a scary adventure, but it made for a great story to tell!

Queensland Flooding Travel Fail

Hotel-less in NYC

NYC Travel Fail

Then there was the time when our hotel room got taken over in NYC. My aunt and I were in town for the weekend, having won a trip to Bar Americain at the New York State Fair, courtesy of Bobby Flay. (Yes, I was in heaven. I love Bobby!) We had booked a hotel on the upper west side along Broadway. We checked in Friday night, went exploring a bit and then came back for bed.

On Saturday we spent the majority of the day wandering the streets of Manhattan. Exhausted, and drenched from the rain, we went back to our hotel for the evening. We got in the elevator, made our way down the hall and unlocked the door with our keycard. Opening the door, I immediately knew something was wrong. I turned on the lights and was in shock. Our luggage was gone. There was no sign that we had been in the room. Someone else’s jeans were strewn on the floor and their pocket change was scattered across the dresser. Luckily there was nobody in the room. Man, that would have been awkward!

So Now What?

Regardless, I was furious. No, I had not made a mistake; we were in the correct room and we had definitely booked the room for two nights. We rushed back down to the front desk to see what the heck was going on. They seemed clueless as to the situation and couldn’t explain to me why the room had been given to someone else. I’ll spare you the details of the chaotic hour or so that followed. I was grateful to find out that our luggage had been placed into storage and nothing was missing. The hotel explained that they didn’t have any more rooms available – clearly they messed up. As soon as we got our luggage, we were out of there and got ourselves booked into another hotel for the night. What a nightmare!

What About You?

Do you have any travel fails to share? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment or send me an email.


  • Mayuri

    Omg! That’s insane! But you know it only means you have to re-visit them again, which is a good thing! More travel!
    My worst so far was when I was sick myself 🤒

    • Dani

      That’s a GREAT point! And I’m sorry! I had one of those stories too but I didn’t end up including it.

  • Unta

    And I’m complaining when it rains. To comfort you, clock in the Prague is really nothing special. Probably the most overrated tourist attraction in the world.

  • Lavdi

    aww I’m sorry. I feel you. My worst time was when I had all my flight and hotel booked and payed for Costa Rica and they told me my visa needs to be valid one more month so I could visit 🙁 It was two nights before New Year and I had planned to celebrate my birthday there (Jan 7). I was so sad, mad, angry and all 🙁

    • Dani

      Oh that’s awful!! I’m so so sorry. I hope you’ve been able to make it there eventually! I’ve always wanted to go to Costa Rica.

  • Amy Dodd

    I have Big Ben under construction, and then the church I wanted to visit in Iceland… haha also just not checking times that places / museums I wanted to visit and then finding out they were closed the day I am in town. haha

    • Dani

      Ah I’ve been there too! Mostly with breweries. My husband and I plan all the ones we want to visit and then forget a lot have weird hours!

  • stellymm

    I had the flu when my Arizona vacation came up. I was completely devastated that I couldn’t go down into the Grand Canyon as planned. But, I was able to visit other places to replace those two days lost and they were amazing so it wasn’t all terrible 🙂

  • Sonali

    Wow.. thats quite insightful especially for upcoming solo traveler like me. This helps to be mentally prepared for any situations and not be ignorant. I have done 4 solo travels. Once while in Italy, I was not able to do the boat ride in Cinque Terre due to weather conditions. Inwas looking forward to do photography of the villages from a distance.

    • Dani

      Exactly. I think the important thing is not to let it ruin your trip if something like this happens! There is always something good to come out of these bad situations.

  • Lyne

    Wow that’s a lot of bad luck! 😮 Most of my fails are me getting lost so far so no big deal really! The floods in Paris was quite insane this year!

  • Anna

    I love how real this post is! So good to hear Travel doesn’t always go to plan. Last week we were in Hamburg for Easter expecting a lovely warm weekend but it snowed the whole time! So unlucky!

  • Heather

    Wow! That is a lot of bad luck! There is nothing worse than going somewhere only to find one of their main attractions is closed or covered in scaffold! I had this happen the first time I went to Iceland when they were doing reconstruction work on their main church! It just made me go back and visit another time 🙂

  • Magdalena Marsden

    Oh, my goodness, that sounds dreadful! I hope it didn’t ruin the places for you and yes, good excuse to go back again! One of our worst holidays included a sky holiday in the middle of the perfect skying season, which didn’t include snow!!! It was far too warm, so the snow was delayed and we spend the week walking instead of skying! I don’t mind walking holiday, I really don’t, but NOT when I ment to go on a skying holiday! (and of course all the gear and clothes you have with you it’s suitable for skying and not walking). Now, we just laugh about it, but it wasn’t funny at the time!

Tell me your thoughts!